Pikmin 4 finally gets a proper in-depth look featuring a new dog and the return of underground areas

Pikmin 4 is letting the dogs out.

Pikmin 4 dog and new protagonist

Image Via Nintendo

The first Nintendo Direct of 2023 kicked off with an in-depth look at Pikmin 4, which will feature a new dog ally, a new type of Pikmin, and the return of dangerous underground levels. Notably, Olimar and the previous Pikmin protagonists do not appear in the trailer, though one of them could be a mysterious castaway who is shown with their face obscured by dirt.

Related: When is the release date for Pikmin 4? Answered

The Pikmin 4 trailer features a new cast of characters who crash land on an alien world and must befriend the local Pikmin, using their skills to bypass environmental hazards and fight dangerous aliens. Players will be able to go on another intergalactic adventure with the Pikmin soon, as the trailer ended with the reveal that Pikmin 4 launches on July 21.

Pikmin 4 will introduce several new elements to the game, including special surfaces that let the characters run up walls and the brand new Ice Pikmin, which can freeze enemies and create icy surfaces on the water that can be walked on. There is also some new element to the dangerous nighttime portion of the game, as the trailer paid particular attention to one of the standard enemies having their eyes turn red under the moonlight.

The biggest addition in Pikmin 4 is Oatchi, a dog-like creature who acts as a mount and faithful companion in the game, with the ability to smash any barriers that get in his way, swim across water, and drag large items back to the ship. Oatchi’s help will be needed, as Pikmin 4 brings back the caves and underground stages for players to explore.

It’s always a safe idea to add a cute dog to the cast of a cartoonish game, as it has done wonders for the Yoshi and Luigi’s Mansion franchises in the past. Oatchi has quickly become the standout character in Pikmin 4, as the cadre of boring humanoid aliens will have to work hard to take the spotlight away from the goodest of boys.